1. Another benchmark
in Craig Venter’s quest to create life.
The pros: "I think they’re going to potentially create a new industrial revolution," [Venter] said. "If we can really get cells to do the production that we want, they could help wean us off oil and reverse some of the damage to the environment by capturing carbon dioxide."
The cons: "We don’t know how these organisms will behave in the environment." [Dr. Helen Wallace of Genewatch]
2. Michael Holick interview
with the New York Times (a few months old)
"The American Academy of Dermatology still has that recommendation that you should never be exposed to one ray of direct sunlight without sun protection."
On the different parts of the food movement:
"Among the many threads of advocacy that can be lumped together under that rubric we can include school lunch reform; the campaign for animal rights and welfare; the campaign against genetically modified crops; the rise of organic and locally produced food; efforts to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes; “food sovereignty” (the principle that nations should be allowed to decide their agricultural policies rather than submit to free trade regimes); farm bill reform; food safety regulation; farmland preservation; student organizing around food issues on campus; efforts to promote urban agriculture and ensure that communities have access to healthy food; initiatives to create gardens and cooking classes in schools; farm worker rights; nutrition labeling; feedlot pollution; and the various efforts to regulate food ingredients and marketing, especially to kids.
It’s a big, lumpy tent…"
On libertarians and evangelicals:
In his 2006 book Crunchy Cons, Rod Dreher identifies a strain of libertarian conservatism, often evangelical, that regards fast food as anathema to family values, and has seized on local food as a kind of culinary counterpart to home schooling.
And more on traditionalism:
In a challenge to second-wave feminists who urged women to get out of the kitchen, Flammang suggests that by denigrating “foodwork”—everything involved in putting meals on the family table—we have unthinkingly wrecked one of the nurseries of democracy: the family meal."
(Much the rest is familiar if you’ve read Pollan before and doesn’t bear on the excerpts above.)